Mural photo

GHC helps drive community art mural at Cartersville Public Library

Students at Georgia Highlands College (GHC) recently completed a wall-sized mural at the Cartersville Public Library titled “Imagination Grows Wild.” 

GHC Adjunct Professor of Art Dorothy Reavis, who previously taught art at Woodland High School (WHS), was contacted by Art in Bartow to be a creative director and artist for the library mural. The mural, which measures 25 feet by 15 to 16 feet in total, required several strategic steps while navigating learning curves as well as plenty of labor and patience. 

Reavis said working on the mural provided student artists with opportunities and professional experience in public art, helping to create a lasting exhibition in a popular public space. 

“Whether a student is interested in public arts, graphic design, or fine arts as a career, this experience gave them insight and education on how to work as an artist and work as a team to achieve such a large creative project,” she said. “Volunteering on the mural was an opportunity for students to have public artwork under their belt before graduation, which boosts their work history and current exhibitions.” 

Artists group shot

Student and GHC Art Club President Ava Riekert has been working on the mural since the end of her senior year in high school, when she was a senior in Reavis’ class at WHS. As she pursues the Associate of Arts in Art Pathway from GHC, she has been able to apply Riekert’s lessons to a real-world scenario while also learning from the experience. 

“I had never worked on a piece that big before and was a little worried about how it would affect my performance but using the artistic skills I had been studying throughout my senior year, I quickly felt comfortable and up for the huge project,” Riekert said. “Throughout the process, I learned how to work effectively with other artists that may not have a similar style to mine and picked up some good skills on how to make colors opaque on such a large scale.”   

Riekert encourages others to check out organizations like the GHC Art Club and to take advantage of extracurricular opportunities on and off campus made possible through the college’s community partnerships. 

“I would absolutely recommend getting involved in community-based projects because it gives you a sense of belonging and excitement,” Riekert said. “You may start off feeling overwhelmed or uncomfortable, but as you work on the project, you will understand why it is such a special experience for you and the community around you.”   

Reavis considers the project to be a success. 

“I’m grateful to have such dedicated art students and was proud to collaborate with them on such a large-scale and meaningful project,” Reavis said. “GHC has a lot of creative talent and it’s a pleasure to teach and guide them while teaching at GHC. I hope I have provided them with real-life, hands-on opportunities and hope to work with many students on future projects.” 

The GHC Art Club and GHC art students have recently begun working on a mural at Euharlee Elementary School. 

Access your creativity at Georgia Highlands College and start classes in January. Connect with an admissions counselor at or apply today at